Anton Yelchin, best known for playing Chekov in the recent “Star Trek” movies, was found dead early Sunday morning after apparently being pinned between his car and a brick mailbox on his property, TMZ reported. He was 27.
Yelchin’s publicist, Jennifer Allen confirmed the actor’s death.
He was found around 1 a.m. by friends who had been alarmed when Yelchin did not show up for a rehearsal, TMZ reported. The car’s engine was running and the car was in neutral, law enforcement sources told TMZ. Yelchin’s driveway was on a steep incline.
Officials do not suspect foul play, TMZ reported.
Yelchin began acting as a child, taking small roles in independent films and various television shows, such as “ER,” ”The Practice,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” His breakout big-screen role came opposite Anthony Hopkins in 2001’s “Hearts in Atlantis.”
He transitioned into teenage roles in films such as the crime thriller “Alpha Dog” and the teen comedy “Charlie Bartlett.” He also played a young Kyle Reese in 2009’s “Terminator Salvation.”
Yelchin, an only child, was born in Russia. His parents were professional figure skaters who moved the family to the United States when Yelchin was a baby. He briefly flirted with skating lessons, too, before discovering that he wasn’t very skilled on the ice. That led him to acting class.
“I loved the improvisation part of it the most, because it was a lot like just playing around with stuff. There was something about it that I just felt completely comfortable doing and happy doing,” Yelchin told The Associated Press in 2011 while promoting the romantic drama “Like Crazy.” He starred opposite Felicity Jones.
“(My father) still wanted me to apply to college and stuff, and I did,” Yelchin said. “But this is what I wanted.”
His biggest role to date has been in the rebooted “Star Trek” films as the heavily accented navigator Chekov, for which he was able to draw on his Russian roots. The third film in the series, “Star Trek Beyond,” comes out in July.
“What’s great about him is he can do anything. He’s a chameleon. He can do bigger movies or smaller, more intimate ones,” ”Like Crazy” director Drake Doremus told the AP in 2011. “There are a lot of people who can’t, who can only do one or the other. … That’s what blows my mind.”
Yelchin transitioned between the big sci-fi franchise and voicing a part for “The Smurfs.” He also appeared in more eccentric and artier fare, like Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film “Only Lovers Left Alive” and Jeremy Saulnier’s horror thriller “Green Room,” a cult favorite that came out earlier this year.